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Plan to raze ancient temple in Xi'an panned

(Shanghai Daily)

14:22, April 11, 2013

The main gate of Xingjiao Temple (

An ancient Buddhist temple that holds the remains of noted Chinese monk Xuan Zang will be partially demolished and rebuilt with a new and prettier look under an application for the title of World Cultural Heritage Site.

In China, the title usually means much higher ticket prices and more tourism tax income for local government.

Authorities in Shaanxi Province in July 2012 included Xingjiao Temple, built about 1,300 years ago in the provincial capital Xi'an, in a bundled application for treasures of the Silk Road, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

Temple authorities later found they were trapped in a dilemma because they were told three months later that two-thirds of the buildings, involving around 80 rooms including monks' dormitories and a dining hall, were scheduled to be pulled down to make room for greenery.

Some historical relics, such as Xuan Zang's portraits, were to be removed.

Shaanxi was the easternmost part of the Silk Road, an ancient trading route that linked Xi'an to Parthia in northeastern Iran and further west. Xuan Zang had traveled along the northern part of the route on his pilgrimage to India in search of Buddhist holy scriptures in the early Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907).

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